First for music news
This Week's Issue
You’re logged in

Live Review: Marina And The Diamonds

proof that a gig in a church doesn't have to be a reverential affair...Holy Trinity Church, Leeds. Saturday, May 2

Photo: Next Previous

Photo Gallery: Marina And The Diamonds

As you might have guessed by its name, the Holy Trinity Church in Leeds is the sort of imposing venue that the beard-scratching acoustica of Fleet Foxes and solo strumming of Laura Marling would flourish in. But razzle-dazzle showbiz glam? NME ain’t so sure. As the audience sit in near-silence upon hard church pews, not daring to raise their voices above a whisper, just how will pop’s shiniest hope – literally and metaphorically – fare within these blessed walls?

Bounding on shoeless, the shoulder-padded sensation that is Marina gleefully breaks the sacred silence. Thrashing about to ‘Seventeen’, which owes a hefty debt to Stiff Records’ resident new wave kook Lene Lovich, Marina’s knackering workout moves point to a possible celebrity fitness video come Christmas. In fact, as she leaps about in front of the church’s gilded crucifix, proceedings quickly begin to resemble the video for Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’, with Marina’s dazzling vocals ringing out on the delicious, towering freak-soul of ‘I Am Not A Robot’ as her arms stretch to the heavens before she drops spectacularly to her knees. Thrilling ain’t the half of it.

Whereas Lady GaGa and Katy Perry’s ’80s throwback looks seem ironic and snarky, it’s obvious that Marina’s is for real. Her cruise-ship glamour pitches her as a gladiatorial Joan Collins infused with a healthy dose of Dolly Parton homebody charm. Her hectic cover of Gwen Stefani’s ‘What You Waiting For?’ opens a window on to the Kate Bush comparisons that have been heaped on the London-based singer – her luminous vocals swoop and soar with blissful eccentricity while her arms flamboyantly tick-tock around an imaginary clock face. “This is why I say I want a Britney microphone,” she grins, bemoaning her lack of a flashy headset as her mic lead twice becomes detached during the song. “They keep saying no!”

Sitting down behind a keyboard for the slow-burning Regina Spektor spine-tingles of ‘Obsessions’, Marina’s tunes finally seem more apt for a church, but the hush doesn’t last for long, as the song bounces into a ska breakdown. A crowning finale of ‘Mowgli’s Road’ sees Marina diving into the mic and yelping out a triumphant “Cuckoo!” Amen

to that.

Leonie Cooper

To rate this track, log in to NME.COM

To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday


Please login to add your comment.

More Videos
More Marina And The Diamonds
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Most Read Reviews
Popular This Week
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today